Even before she appeared on Dragons’ Den, Dr. Joey Shulman was a walking success story. The national best-selling author of five books, owner of three Shulman Weight Loss Clinics, and resident Cityline health expert already had a full plate of successful business ventures based on her expertise as a doctor. But you know what they say about busy people: they’re the ones who always get the job done. Despite her already hectic schedule, Dr. Joey brought her latest venture, Dr. Joey’s Skinnychews, an all-natural chew that helps satisfy sweet cravings and stabilizes blood sugar, to CBC’s Dragons’ Den. That’s where she she joined forces with another powerful woman, Arlene Dickinson, CEO of Venture Communications, and a partnership for Dr. Joey’s Skinnychews was born. With her next book, The Natural Makeover Diet, hitting stores on April 22nd, Dr. Joey shows no signs of slowing down. We caught up with Dr. Joey to find out more about her exciting career, the Dragons’ Den experience, and (drum roll) her best weight loss tips…
Tell us a bit about yourself. What should people know?
I am a mom first and foremost – I have a 9-year-old boy and 5-year-old little girl and they are everything. I have a passion for nutrition and health that I was born with. I love what I do today – with weight loss, my books, media – even more than I did 10 years ago. I am still so grateful to work in a profession I love and feel I can make a difference in. I never take that for granted.
What are 3 key tips every Canadian wishing to lose a few pounds this spring should keep in mind?
Great question. My top three tips for weight loss are:
1. Be mindful of what you eat past 3pm. I am a big advocate of avoiding grains at dinner in order to see the pounds melt away.
2. Watch your intake of added sugars. These added sugars are a real problem especially when it comes to fatigue, weight loss, belly fat storage, and cravings. In fact, the World Health Organization now recommends a maximum of 5 percent of added sugars in your daily caloric intake. That’s not a lot – only 6 teaspoons! Stick to natural sugars found in fruit.
3. Try to eat with awareness. So much of the eating we do is due to our emotional state; happy, tired, sad, bored – we eat! This is why I am a big advocate of food journaling from time to time – it snaps you into awareness eating.
How did the concept for Dr. Joey’s Skinnychews come about?
It goes hand in hand with the 3pm principle I outlined above. So many of my clients were starting their day off well with a good breakfast and even a good lunch, but were “blowing it” nutrition wise from 3pm on. Unfortunately, the research is very clear (and I have seen it in practice thousands of times) – if you don’t finish your day off well, you do not have a shot at losing weight long-term and balancing blood sugar. With over a decade of experience in the weight loss world, I can tell you with certainty that weight loss is not just mathematical (calories in, calories out); it’s also hormonal (blood sugar balancing).
So, I could see people needed something to help them stay on track. Skinnychews are dark chocolaty chews that are naturally sweetened, gluten free, low calorie (17 calories per chew) and contain 4 grams of inulin fibre per chew. The inulin helps with appetite control and cravings, and the chew format means they take a little while to eat. Pop 2-3 chews at 3pm, or after dinner, and you will be satisfied and able to stay on track diet wise. Very simple concept – but it works.
What did you take away from your experience on Dragons’ Den?
I have been on TV for a long time (currently a guest expert on Cityline), so I felt very comfortable in front of the camera. Going on Dragons’ Den was sort of a serendipitous event. I started watching the show and really enjoyed it. At the same time I was developing Skinnychews.
While walking at our cottage I turned to my husband and said, “Wow… wouldn’t it be funny if Skinnychews went on Dragons’ Den?” At that moment, I tripped over someone (literally tripped), looked up and was standing nose to nose with Jim Treliving (one of the Dragons). I took that as a sign and… the rest is history, as they say.
How’s the partnership with Arlene Dickinson?
Fantastic. Arlene is everything you hope for in a partner (and yes, we are true partners). She is hard working, dedicated to her companies, and unbelievably talented. Even more so, there is something very connectable about Arlene – and that is what drew me to her. She is truly as authentic as they come.
What are three things you can’t live without?
2. My phone calls with my sister.
3. Downtime with my kids – I get grumpy when I miss too many mornings or evenings away from them. I try not to let this happen too often.
What’s your favourite restaurant?
Now that is a hard one because I really love going out for dinner. I tend to like uber healthy (ie. Fresh restaurant), and we love going to dinner up north at the Oliver & Bonacini at Windermere House.
What’s your favourite spa or service?
A facial, hands down.